International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

International Vegetarian Congress, 1900
Paris, France

Report from The Vegetarian (London) July 7, 1900:


The Congress has come and gone, and with the exception of one or two small hitches, everything went first rate.

The party, numbering over sixty, left Charing Cross on Saturday night at 9 o'clock, arriving at Paris about 6 on Sunday morning. We were met by omnibuses and driven to our hotel, and in a few hours were comfortably settled. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were given up to seeing Paris and its surroundings and above all the Exhibition. After the first day the Hotel people seemed to understand us, and each day our Menu for breakfast and dinner was very well served and carried out. The Congress paper commenced at 2.30 on Thirsday. There were about 160 present. The chair was taken by the President D. Jules Grand, supported by the Commandant Courmet, Mons. Guillaume de Fontenay, Dr. Roux, M. de Vielleneuve, M. Moran, Dr. Nyssens and Mr. A. F. Hills, President of the Vegetarian Federal Union and others. The proceedings were opened by a speech from the President, Dr. Grand, followed by Mr. A. F. Hills, who read his Congress paper as his opening speech. After this a capital address was given by Dr. Dock. The Congress was adjourned at 4.30 for the reception given by M. Hills, in the Congress Restaurant, adjoining the hall. A large number of our own and the principal French Vegetarians sat down to Tea, which was served extremely well ; the table was beautifully laid, and ddcorated with choice flowers. The Menu consisted of Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, Bread and Butter, Strawberries, Cherries and other fruits. Most of the French ladies present were much charmed with this simple English 5 o'clock tea, and many new friends were made at the tea table. On Friday morning the Congress assembled at 9.30 and there was a much larger number of French Vegetarians and their friends present. On Thursday the follwing papers were dealt with : papers from England, America, India, and one on Vegetarianism and Labour by Mr. Harry Phillips. There were also papers from Count Tolstoy, and a French doctor. Mr. Clark of the Manchester Vegetarian Society, made a capital speech, and, in passing, alluded to the interesting fact that it was Mr. T. Anderson Hanson's 81st birthday, at which the French were extremely interested. Mr. Clark referred to the subject of peace as one of the principle of Vegetarianism, which brought forth a loud cheer. He trusted that the day would be far distant when the hands of the French and English would be lifted in any other way than to grasp one another in a hearty handshake, especially in the case of Vegetarians. The papers were read in English and translated into French by Dr. Nyssens. The Congress adjourned for Lunch, with the President, at which several of our English friends were present. It may be interesting to give the Menu, as this was entirely arranged by the French Vegetarians :-

Radis et beurre.
Petit pois a la francais.
Oeufs Crouiffes aux champignons.
Aspeges et Branches.
Salad de Laitue.
Soufflé de ceravene.
Fraises a la Crême.
Fruit variés.
Café de Malt.

After lunch the Congress met at 2.30, when the Chair was taken by Dr. Roux. Papers were read by one or two French friends ; Mr. Lights's paper on "Cycling" ; and "Brain, Muscle and Diet," by Eustace Miles. The following English speakers were then asked to take part in the Congress, Mr. Light, Dr. Hadwen, Dr. Black, Mr. Pengelly, Miss Hompes and Mr. Reinheimer. All the speeches that were delivered in English were translated into French. The afternoon was now spent, and the Congress adjourned until Saturday morning sitting, when the remainder of the papers were dealt with. At the Hotel after breakfast on Saturday morning a meeting was held at which a unanimous Resolution was passed thanking Mr. Phillips for the successful way in which he had organized the trip and the Congress. Mr. Phillips was requested to make enquiries as to a suitable town for the next Congress. Some of the friends then left for the midday train ; the majority stayed until the 9 o'clock train. and returned safe to England once more. The trip was very enjoyable. There were no accidents nor mishaps, and on every hand, whether in the Hotel, Exhibition, Steamboat or tram-car we were treated with the greatest courtesy by all we met, in fact it is a libel to say that the French are treating the English in any way disrespectful. As soon as possible the leading papers read at the Congress will be published.